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Centralisation = Inequality

5 March, 2007


Sinn Féin Foyle Assembly election candidate Lynn Fleming has said that the dispersal of civil service jobs is not just an important part of a balanced approach to regional development but that it is a fundamental necessity in tackling the deep and lasting inequalities across the north and in bringing civil servants much closer to the communities they serve.

Ms Fleming said:

"Going back over 10 years there has been clear evidence of the need to make progress on the dispersal of civil service jobs. The fact that hundreds of people have to travel from Derry daily to work in Belfast is clearly wrong. We need those jobs based in Derry and the financial benefits that would flow from them put back into the local economy.

"Not only are there clear social and economic benefits and particularly in terms of cost efficiencies and reducing travel times and environmental impacts but dispersal is an essential part of a balanced approach to regional development. It is also a fundamental necessity in tackling the deep and lasting inequalities across the north and in bringing civil servants much closer to the communities they serve.

"If we are going to change the ethos permeating from the top echelons of the civil service then we need to change how and where they are based.

"We need decisions taken not just in terms of the guiding principles of the location of public sector jobs, for example resulting from the reorganisation of local government and dispersal of government departments, but a clear commitment to use dispersal as a tool to deliver on the New Targeting Social Need policy objectives to tackle inequality." ENDS

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